Thursday, November 17, 2011

FA Charges Liverpool's Luis Suarez

The English Football Association has charged Liverpool striker Luis Suarez with racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

The FA says Suarez "used abusive and/or insulting words and/or behavior" during last month's Premier League match.

The FA says it is "alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or color and/or race of Patrice Evra."

Evra, a black defender, was quoted as telling French TV station Canal Plus that "there are cameras, you can see him (Suarez) say a certain word to me at least 10 times."

Suarez denied the allegations before being charged Wednesday.

Wolves Ponder Fresh Shelvey Move

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy is thought to be ready to ask Kenny Dalglish about the prospect of signing Jonjo Shelvey on loan in January.

The diminutive 19-year-old midfielder is currently on loan at Blackpool after finding first team opportunities difficult to come by at Anfield this season due to the summer arrivals at the club.

McCarthy is considering making a move to land him in the new year and may try and tempt him on loan with a view to a permanent move at some point in the future, although Shelvey himself is determined to make the grade at Anfield and may only consider a loan.

McCarthy had a chance to ask Dalglish about Shelvey at Sir Alex Ferguson's 25th anniversary dinner although whether he did or not is unknown but McCarthy has confirmed that he will be looking to add in the New Year.

"We'll be looking to do something in January, definitely," said McCarthy.

"If there's players around we can get and do something to improve us as a squad or as a team, we'll try to do it."

Comolli Makes Personal Check On Toon Star

Liverpool are still monitoring the contract situation of Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini, it has been claimed.

The Argentine defender has 18 months to run on his current deal but has reportedly put off any talks over extension until the summer.

According to the Daily Star, Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has made a personal check on Colocinni and an attempt to bring him to Anfield could now be in the offing.

Newcastle, though, are desperate to keep the 29-year-old at St James' Park and he is likely to extend his deal, despite the interest of Liverpool.

Whether or not Liverpool decide to formalize their interest in Coloccini remains to be seen, but the centre-back is known to he happy at Newcastle.

Alan Pardew, meanwhile, is expected to reinforce his goalscoring department when the transfer window opens in January.

The Toon boss is reportedly set to sign Modibo Maiga from Sochaux, while he is also alleged to be tracking Huddersfield hotshot Jordan Rhodes.

Dalglish Continues Defensive Scouting Mission With Sevilla Star

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is reportedly keeping tabs on Sevilla defender Ferderico Fazio as he looks to bolster his defence.

The Reds manager has been linked with moves for a number of centre-halves as he looks to add more experience to his back-line with Jamie Carragher nearing the end of his playing days.

Liverpool are reportedly casting their eye over Porto defender Bruno Alves while reports have emerged claiming they are also interested in Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini.

However, Dalglish is thought to be casting his net wide and is eager to explore as many options as possible.

And reports in Spain have claimed he has sent scouts to watch Fazio in action.

The Liverpool manager will also face competition from Inter Milan, who is also thought to be interested. The 6ft 5in defender will not come cheap, however, with Sevilla demanding in excess of €15m to make any potential deal happen.

The 24-year-old, whose contract runs until 2014, has become an important part of the Sevilla squad and made his Argentina debut this summer.

Gerrard - Downing Will Deliver

Steven Gerrard believes a move to Liverpool has provided Stewart Downing with the perfect stage on which to showcase his undoubted talent.

The Reds spent big in order to lure the winger away from Premier League rivals Aston Vila over the summer, with £20million invested in a player they hope will flourish on Merseyside.

Downing has made a quiet start to life at Anfield and is yet to hit the heights he scaled so impressively at Middlesbrough and Villa.

There have, however, been signs of late that he is starting to find his feet, with an impressive performance put in while donning the colours of England in a friendly date with Sweden on Tuesday.

He will now be looking to transfer that form onto the domestic stage, and his captain at club level is confident the 27-year-old will prove to be a shrewd acquisition for Liverpool.

Gerrard told LFC Magazine: "I think the move was perfect for him at this point of his career. He was the star at Middlesbrough and I think he moved up to Villa and proved he could be one of the best players in the league.

"I think at the age he's at it was perfect for him to sign for us. I felt he was a player we needed and that we were a club he needed to be at.

"He now has a platform here to prove over the next five or six years that he's one of the best players in the league. He can really nail down that left-side role and make it his own."

While Gerrard is a fan of Downing, he has also added his name to Luis Suarez's growing list of admirers - with the Uruguayan forward having been a revelation at Anfield following his January arrival from Ajax.

"To see Luis day in, day out has been a real eye-opener for me," added Gerrard.

"I knew he was a good player. Having worked with him on a regular basis I think he has the potential to be one of the best in the world."

Liverpool has slipped 12 points adrift of leaders Manchester City in the Premier League, but Gerrard believes boss Kenny Dalglish has the right tools at his disposal to ensure that the 2011/12 campaign will be a productive one for the Reds.

Gerrard, who is likely to miss Sunday's crunch clash with Chelsea as he recovers from an ankle problem, said: "I think the squad is looking stronger, probably the strongest we've had for a long time. Now it's all about delivering.

"The tools are all there, now we need to work hard, focus on each game and try to build on what we've shown over the last 20 or so games."

Clarke: Kelly Can Play Centre-Back

Martin Kelly has all the attributes to play at centre-back in the future, according to first-team coach Steve Clarke.

The Reds have no plans to move the 21-year-old from the right side of defence, where his performances have helped him become an England U21 regular.

However, Clarke would not be surprised if Kelly one day returned to the central position he regularly played during his years at the Academy.

"When you look at the size and shape of Martin, he's built like a central defender," said the Scot. "He's been fantastic at right-back and we've got no plans to move him from there at the moment but if he continues to develop and he gets an opportunity at centre-half then I'm sure he's got the attributes to make it a good position for him.

"He's done great to break into the Liverpool first team and really well to establish himself as an England U21. If he's going to become a senior player (for England) in the future he's going to have to continue to develop and work hard at his game."

Kelly has scored two goals in two games for England U21s during this international break - and Clarke was delighted to see the youngster net with his head on Monday.

"It was a good header from a corner, which is nice to see because we've done a little bit of work on his heading recently," he said. "It's nice to see that it is paying off.

"He scored a great goal breaking from midfield at the weekend, and it's obviously because he's playing matches, he's feeling good about himself, feeling confident, and long may that continue."

Sporting Frustration For Reds

It was a disappointing night for Liverpool's youngsters in Portugal as they lost 5-1 to Sporting Lisbon in the NextGen Series.

With qualification for the next stage of the competition already ensured, Rodolfo Borrell's side set out with the aim of trying to be the first team to beat the Portugese outfit in the competition so far.

Sa Pinto's side played some fantastic football at times and were 2-0 up inside the opening 34 minutes thanks to Edgar's free-kick and a fine effort from Carlos Chaby.

Michael Ngoo got the Reds back into it just before the break when he netted his first goal of the season after being set up by Raheem Sterling.

In the second half Sporting Lisbon turned on the style. Betinho made it 3-1 with a stunning overhead kick, then added another with a clinical header.

Substitute Gael Etock came off the bench to net a stunning goal with his first touch to make it 5-1.

Reflecting on the night's proceedings, Borrell said: "We need to improve a lot to compete with sides of the quality of Sporting Lisbon.

"The difference in quality was massive on the night but we will find solutions tactically to face these kind of teams in the future.

"Sporting Lisbon is a really good team but we need to keep going, work hard every day and improve so we are ready for the next stage of this tournament.

"In the first half we created some good chances but it was a disappointing night."

Jay Lends Support To NSPCC

Jay Spearing paid a visit to the NSPCC Hargreaves Centre in Liverpool this week to help raise awareness on the prevention of non-accidental head injuries in babies.

This program is used by the NSPCC to protect children aged under one, and the Reds midfielder was joined by LFC Ladies defender Sam Chappel and Everton striker Apostolos Vellios to lend their support.

The Preventing Non-Accidental Head Injuries in Babies program aims to reduce the number of babies suffering non-accidental head injuries.

This is a primarily hospital-based parent education program targeted at all parents of newborn babies. New parents are shown a short DVD of how to cope with the pressures of being a new parent and stressing how easily a baby's brain can be damaged.

Alex Hanson, Corporate Manager of the NSPCC Hargreaves Centre in Liverpool, said: "The prevention of non-accidental head injuries in babies is vitally important and we want to make as many parents as possible aware of it.

"It's a vital issue for us. Babies are the most vulnerable of all children and the Non-Accidental Head Injuries program aims to reach up to 13,000 babies over the next two years in Merseyside, working with parents and making sure they know how to deal with their children.

"When they become a new parent we show them how to cope and what to do. This program is fantastic and we are thrilled to be launching it here in Liverpool.

"Football is such an integral part to life in Liverpool and one of the big things for us with this program is involving new dads in how to bring up the babies safely and how to create a loving and safe environment for them to grow in, and we are thrilled to have Liverpool FC and Everton helping us with this."

Spearing, a recent proud father himself, added: "It's very important to help the NSPCC raise awareness about this important initiative.

"We are happy to be involved and help the NSPCC with their new campaign in Liverpool and across the North-West."